A Visitor’s Guide to Hawaii

This page is put together as a reference for for things to do, places to eat, and resources for your time in Hawaii.  This page won’t be like a typical blog, in that I’ll be constantly adding & modifying the entire page, not brand new posts.

The “table of contents” for this page are:

Places to go


  • Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond: – The book that everyone who lives here ends up buying and keeping as a quick reference when they want to explore a new area of the island.  Written by locals and validated by locals, you get a good mix of both worthwhile tourist spots, and some “gems” that you wouldn’t have normally considered.  We have a copy you can borrow when you get out here.
  • The Hikers Guide to O’ahu – The only reference I use to find hikes on the island.  This is the most recent edition, mine dates back to 2000.  While there are limited easy hikes in this book, if you have the time and inclination you can see an aspect of the island that is missed by most.  We have the older you can borrow on island. 

  • Another outstanding resource for hiking trails is Unreal Hawaii.  They have a good map and blog of the hikes they do.  I use it to get an idea of the hike before heading out with the family.


You have to eat while you are out here, here are few places that we love to return to:


  • Cinnamon’s – The word is out on this spot.  It is so popular with our friends from the west, that they actually have two locations open in Japan.  If you are there at the crack of dawn, you shouldn’t have a wait for a table.  The longer you sleep, the more crowded it gets.  The red velvet pancakes are a signature item, and worth trying.  Just a good all around place for breakfast.
  • Moke’s Bread and Breakfast – A nice change of pace from Cinnamon’s.  I had the rabbit loco moco.
  • Lulu’s – The spot to eat after a morning assault on Diamond Head.  Or at least for us.  Nestled in a nice spot on Waikiki, an honest meal that doesn’t feel like a tourist trap.


  • Haleiwa Joe’s – Haiku Gardens – We first ate here on our honeymoon, many moons ago.  The view from this open air restaurant is into the Kulao’u range and is beyond description.  It is also a change from the typical ocean view dining.  While here you’ll see the gamut from families celebrating the end of the soccer season, to local’s on a night out, to honeymooners with sun burn from the day at the beach.  The prime rib is delicious but usually sells out quickly.  The bamboo basket steamed fish is delicious.  We’ve never gone wrong here, and we love to get away when we can.
  • Buzz’s
  • Epic
  • Alan Wong’s Honolulu – This is where we went for a very special night out.  One of the top places to dine in Oahu.  Set back from the hustle of Waikiki, you wouldn’t even think that there is a restaurant in this building.  It is in the third floor of an office building, with no ocean view.  Parking is below ground and you take and elevator up.  The dinner we had was absolutely wonderful.  And the view was off the mountains, which is always a nice change of pace.  We especially liked “The coconut” for dessert.  Reservations are a must.
  • Lucky Belly
  • Sidestreet Cafe
  • Lucky Noodle

Poke – Pronounced “po-key”, this is nothing more than raw ahi, cut into small chunks served with rice.  The ahi is often seasoned with anything from shoyu, to limu  or spicy.  Sometimes the most hole in the wall markets have the absolute best poke.

  • Alicia’s – Just ask for a poke bowl.  Any flavor is great.  I like the limu.

Shave Ice – A well known

  • Matsumoto’s
  • That other shave ice place
  • Island Snow

Recommended Hikes

  • Moana Falls
  • Lanikai Pillboxes
  • Ridgeline
  • Aiea Loop

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